The emergence of HIV in the 1980s shed light on the links between health and human rights. Over the last 36 years, evolving understanding of the apparent manifestations and root causes of the pandemic exposed the pivotal role that denial or violation of human rights played in restricting peoples access and use of prevention and care services, and likewise how attention to the promotion and protection of human rights in local, national and global responses upholds the dignity of people most exposed to or living with HIV, and supports their access to life-saving information and other protective and treatment interventions. With attention to human rights law and specific governmental obligations, this chapter traces this history and current implications for advocacy, programming and accountability in the context of HIV and other significant public health crises including sexual and reproductive health, tuberculosis, and malaria.
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